What does "Working for the Weekend" Mean?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2019
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The slang term “working for the weekend” is used to imply that someone is getting through the work week by focusing on the weekend. It sometimes means that someone is slacking or completing work of low quality as a result of focusing on the fun activities ahead rather than on work, and in other cases it is used to suggest that someone is unhappy at work. A wide variety of studies have been conducted to learn more about attitudes about work both in and out of the workplace. Whether people work for the weekend or not, evidence does suggest that people are happier during the weekends, even if they express satisfaction with their jobs.

This item of business slang is commonly seen in reference to office workers, who tend to have very set schedules and may find their work less than scintillating. Working for the weekend can be a common sentiment among people who think of their jobs as necessities to earn money, without any additional rewards or pleasures. A person who works in this way may use the job to support leisure activities on the weekends and during vacations, literally working to pay for the weekend.


Employees who are satisfied or feel like their work has meaning tend to be happier and may also perform better in contrast with people who view their jobs as means to an end. A person who works for the weekend may be unhappy or bored at work. Changing working conditions can shake up workplace attitudes and make people more interested and engaged in the workplace, reducing the sense of working for the weekend. Promotions, movements to different departments, and other changes in the workplace, such as instituting flexible hours, can make employees feel more happy at work and less focused on the weekend.

Regular office work can be grueling, especially when limited vacation time is available. On Fridays, people may feel like they have earned the weekend after their labor from the week, and the sentiment “thank God it's Friday” rings out in offices large and small as employees exchange information about weekend plans and wrap up their work for the week so they can leave as soon as office hours end.

People who feel like they are working for the weekend may want to talk to their supervisors about being given new or different job responsibilities. People with valuable skills that are not being put to work may feel especially frustrated and restless in the work environment and can start to feel like they are working for the weekend.


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Post 3

Before I finally reached retirement age, I spent many years working for the weekend. I was mostly a glorified paper pusher at a large accounting firm, and by Friday I was ready to get my paycheck and run out of the office. Saturday was my day to play. Sunday was my day to rest. Extended holiday weekends were my times to get out of town.

The problem I had with a "working for the weekend" mentality, though, was I would sometimes forget to budget my money for the month. I'd get my paycheck and then do something fun and expensive with the money that weekend. By the end of the month, I wouldn't have enough money to make a car payment or buy groceries. All I could think about was getting away from my boring week-to-week life and doing something exciting. I finally decided I needed to do a better job balancing work and play.

Post 2

I've heard rumors that some countries want to change the work week to four days of ten hour shifts, which would mean one more day added to the weekend. I can kind of see where that sort of thing might work, depending on the job. I wouldn't want people being worked to the point of exhaustion for ten hours, but I could also see the advantage of having one more day to relax.

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